Monthly Archives: August 2018

The weekend rhyme

Last weekend was a blur to me

So quickly did it fly.

With feet on wheels through most of it

Could catch no break, Oh my!

Friday night, I went to bed

Rejoicing at the break

Knowing not what lay in wait

The chores the days would make.

Saturday morn was calm alright

Food left from day before

But the hour past noon did hit me hard

With chore after chore.

A much delayed shopping spree

Buying underwear anew

”Too much info” yells the kid

Turning a reddish hue.

More driving did the evening bring

Can’t wait till kid gets wheels,

Return too late to cook a meal,

Swiggy got the deals.

Sabbath you’d think I’d lie in bed

Long after rooster calls

League matches at ungodly hours

As my kid in glee just LOLs.

Then guests for lunch oh lord above

i run like a hen on fire

Then tuition class did bring more kids,

So notes by the quire!

By Sunday night I went to bed

Rejoicing at the break,

Weekday thank god, I told myself

Is just a piece of cake.

 

 

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And let’s begin the week

This week promises a lot of exciting work.  I have three ideas to come up with, all three in the area of energy, and have to write up white papers for them.  I have half a dozen documents to edit.  And if the other assignment that I mentioned in the previous post comes through, I’d have more writing to do.

I also have back to back tutorial classes for my daughter and her friends.

Kind of overwhelming, but all of the above are jobs I love, so I should sail through, even if a little breathless.

The weekend was busy, to put it mildly.  I have a post composed in my head, which might see the light of day sometime today.

Have a good week, people.

A new assignment?

Before I went incognito, people asked me if blogging had any use at all. The Ayn Randish need for tangible use for things riled me. Why can’t something be done for no reason? Of course much of this was after-boiling and I answered with my signature – a smile. Not enigmatic, by the way. Just “oh I can’t talk” type exasperated smile.

I blog, as I suspect most of us who write for non commercial gains do, because I have a compulsive need to string thoughts into words. I can’t do it orally to save my life. My throat seizes , my brain freezes and the body goes into a fight or flight (mostly flight) mode. But the words won’t let me be. Before web 2, I wrote in notebooks, diaries, paper scraps and even ticket stubs.   I sometimes wonder if I’d roll over and die if I couldn’t write. A dear friend tells me that only when she writes she feels real and real life feels like a hobby on the side. I may have wept at that.

Still, since the world seems obsessed with returns – I have had returns. While the friends I have gained through blogging are priceless, mybank balance has seen good days as well. A few years back, a tech company hired me on the strength of my blog, to write articles for them and that worked well for three years till I stepped down.

Today I got another commission through a dear blog friend (yes the one who lives as a hobby) from a company to write. We are still working out the details, but if it comes through, there’s another tangible use of my blog.

Talking of this assignment, I surprised myself from being nervous – writing has never in the past made me nervous. Then I realised that my nervousness is because, for the first time in my life I might be reporting to a woman. As sexist as this may sound, I believe women are more no-nonsense and efficient than men ( I know, I am one myself) and I hope I can live up to the standards expected!

PS: typing on phone. Excuse typos please.

Of stalking and play acting

I am sitting on a barstool at Dunkin Donuts, waiting for my empty calories to arrive. I have my kindle with me and I will be a fixture here for the next two hours. My teenage kid and her friends are “hanging out” at the mall. Between parents’ directive of not letting the girls out of my sight and the kids’ threat to spontaneously combust if I enter their visual zone,  I am caught furtively following them about. It’s only a matter of time before the security locks me up in the basement for being a creepy stalker. Perhaps then I can read my kindle in peace.

I have a  feeling of disconnect since morning. An illusion of  wearing a mask and being in a masquerade. I am trying to search for the face under the mask, but it’s eluding me. The bard did have a point when he called this world a  stage.

Confusing thoughts. Materialistic surroundings. Giggly teens. Lukewarm tea. Hmm.

 

 

Dramatics

Preamble:  the Ramayana and Mahabharata are two mega epics of Hinduism. For those that don’t know.

………

I went to an uber-hep undergrad college, which was (is?) known for its literature and dramatic skillset.  Although I belonged to the stodgy field of the sciences, the motley hip crowd fascinated me.  I hung around (albeit not fitting in one bit) a literature major crowd, and while I was disappointed in them not being more literarily inclined than even I, I did a bit of drama-hopping with them. If I remember right, the then heart-throb was a play director called “Michael Muthu”, and his version of “Jesus Christ Super Star” and another one (perhaps by a different director) called “Joseph and the technicolor dream coat” (I think), I found fascinating in those juvenile years.  I also saw some more serious, symbolic plays that seemed to have a lot of oomph factor among the hip gang that I struggled to fit in, but I never quite got them, and wondered if I was uncharitable in calling them pretentious – in my mind of course.

I have a new and interesting friend, who is a journalist.  We get along well (touch wood) in a bit of an antiseptic way -we don’t venture into personal territories, but discuss books, movies, society, parenting, feminism etc.  Being a journalist, she is into theatre and had asked me if I would like to join her to watch a play during The Hindu (the newspaper, not the religion) drama fest.  I had agreed because, well, why not?

So last weekend, we went to a play called “Bali’ by the Adi Shakti group.  It was a sort of a vaudeville (without the derogatory connotation, let me clarify) play – a “movement” based presentation, as my friend called it – attempting to provide different perspectives of the killing of Vaali (or Bali) in the Ramayana.  The strength of the play was  the cast; the main characters were brilliant in  histrionics – the main person, in particular, could communicate through every muscle in his body. The two women artists were very expressive as well, and every twitch on their faces played – the one scene of romance between Tara and Bali (played by a woman, who faces away from the audience) was exceptional.  There were interludes that I didn’t quite get, because it didn’t seem connected to the play itself, but perhaps this is a dramatic technique that I would not be aware of, having not been educated/trained in the art myself.

The death of Bali was addressed from the perspective of Sugriva, Tara, Angadha, Ravan and Ram.  Of these, Angadha’s perspective was the strongest – it is logical to expect that Angadha would be furious at Ram for having killed his father, as against the original where he becomes a follower of Ram.  It also makes sense that it wouldn’t matter if Ram had used righteous or underhand methods to kill Bali – all that would matter to the son would be that his father was killed.  Well played.

Ravan’s perspective was cute.  However, I didn’t get the betel leaf chewing discussion between Ram and Ravan. Was the betel leaf chewing a symbolism of the battle between them? Curse the uncreative mind that can’t see beyond what’s obvious. Ravan says that if Ram had allied with Bali rather than killing him, he might have released Sita at Bali’s request.  When Ram asks if he really would have, Raavan answers “now we’ll never know” – touche, I think.

Sugriva’s perspective was confusing.  Perhaps this was intentional because the character itself is confusing – so there is not much I can discuss.

Tara.    A small digression here.  A couple of weeks back, I read a book titled “The palace of illusions” — a retelling of the Mahabharatha from Panchali’s perspective.  Throughout the book, I was exasperated at the narrative not being powerful enough – the ground most fertile for a feministic tirade against persistent and pervading misogyny, wasted. I had the same feeling about Tara’s perspective in the play.  There was one brief moment in which Tara wails at her husband’s death, which promised the intensity of which the character is capable, but then it became less powerful – perhaps focusing too much on body language and less on the spoken language caused it.  But this is a very subjective thing I believe, because  my friend thought that Tara’s stance was powerful enough.  I suppose my discontent is because nothing short of setting the world on fire can meet the fury in my mind at the rampant misogyny that pervades our mythology, nay life itself.

The curse of being trained in the sciences is that the brain becomes tuned to terseness and anything not expressed succinctly, takes on the garb of clutter/pretension.  Although I enjoyed the 50 minute play, I couldn’t help get impatient at the amount of theatrics that surrounded a comparatively meagre idea.  Perhaps watching more plays would make me less impatient with fluff.

In all, an enjoyable evening.

 

Eavesdropping

A couple of days back, late on an evening before a math exam, the government declared holiday to schools for the next day , because our ex PM had passed away. My kid’s class WhatsApp conversation went like this, a few minutes after the announcement:

Person 1: Yay.. there is a god.

P2:  And SHE is a woman.

P3: God be praised

P4: Hey Ram !

P5:  I thank God.  I thank Jesus.

P6: Jesus take the wheel.

And they say spirituality is dead !

And that people grieve at deaths.

 

The flavour of the day is…

Irritation.

Case 1: I had an elderly couple for brunch this morning . I cooked up a storm – two vegetables, two kinds of salads, two kinds of crisps etc. to go with three main dishes.

The woman of the couple talks into her cell phone throughout the meal and the man eats silently. No acknowledgement of the effort put into the meal. Yes, I made the meal out of respect and certainly not to score brownie points, but would it kill to acknowledge if not appreciate?

Case 2: Kid returns from an exam, distraught because she hadn’t done as well as she had hoped. I hug her and tell her “it’s ok, do better next time”. Above woman of pair starts off on a lecture about how formal education is not important and her own offspring, who barely passed exams when younger, is now successful etc. It pissed me off to no end because my family believes that education is important. That aside, what kind of advice is that? I told the woman that I’d thank her to not diss education to my kid and she got all offended.

Case 3: I will be attending a play today, with a friend. I am excited about it. However, I had to make elaborate arrangements so that my family is taken care of, gastronomically and otherwise in my absence. I realise that this is my own prison and that it’s women like me who set back gender equality by decades. Yet I cannot bring myself to say “I am going to enjoy myself this evening. You take care of yourselves” without judgemental guilt killing me. Disgusting woman I am.

Hopefully there is no case 4. I will be leaving for the play in a few minutes. Will probably write about it tomorrow.